Bennington businesses split after Vermont lifts mask mandate for the fully vaccinated

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BENNINGTON, Vt. (NEWS10) — While New York State will adopt the CDC’s new mask guidance Wednesday, bordering Vermont has had the face covering requirement lifted for the fully vaccinated since Friday.

In Bennington, businesses are split over the new guidance, as some will continue a mask mandate for the time being, while others have embraced the change.

“When I first took it off, I looked around, I was like, am I going to get in trouble? Is this really okay?” said Danielle Mone, bar manager of Ramunto’s.

The restaurant has been following CDC’s updated guidance since Friday when Vermont Governor Phil Scott signed an executive order lifting the mask mandate and social distancing requirement for immunized individuals.

“I also don’t feel like I have to run around and police people to make sure that they wear their masks when they stand up, or they don’t stand and drink and things like that. It’s nice that I don’t have to police that anymore,” Mone said.

When it comes to face coverings inside, the business will be using the honor system and hopes as time progresses they won’t need to start asking for proof of vaccination.

“We trust that our guests are respectful of the mandate being lifted and that it is for fully vaccinated people. It’s not just because you don’t feel like wearing a mask anymore,” says Mone.

A little down the road from Ramunto’s, Jensen’s Family Restaurant is keeping their mask requirement in place for now.

“For the protection of my crew, who’s still going through the waiting period, still getting vaccinated, we’ll still require them for the time being,” said Amy Jensen, the restaurant’s owner.

Jensen is asking customers to be respectful as the restaurant waits to adjust the rules but says the restaurant will no longer turn away people who show up without a face covering.

“I’m assuming by the honor system that they’re going to have been vaccinated, so we’ll let them still come in,” she said.

While some may think the CDC’s new guidance is happening too soon, some Vermonters are looking forward to going without one.

“For others I can see that they’re really anxious about not wanting to wear the masks anymore, so yeah, I kind of am on board with that,” said Stacey Harrington, a Bennington resident.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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